We were supposed to meet family at a brew house at the Firehouse, but when we arrived we were forced to sit outside on concrete in 86 degree sun, with no table umbrellas.
So we drove 3 blocks to Baltimore and 47th in West Philadelphia to this lovely, cool and serene restaurant, with a big free parking lot in back (on 47th). The lovely wood-and-glass buiding was built like a solarioum with huge door-windows that hinged open, floating cool breezes in through tropical plants and natural wood. There were 5 of us plus a guide dog and we were seated in the next room. When I mentioned it was very warm, the host immediatley opened a wide window and soon we felt the same cool breezes.
The food: my brother didn't think he would like Vietnamese food, but love their barbeque bowl with noodles. We all got a giant appetizer lazy-susan with fixings for summer rolls -- chicken,
greens, small grape leaves rolled over meat--all we could wrap in paper-thin "crepes" to make our own summer rolls. My husband as usual, got something hot-spicy. Everybody but me ate
and ate and still brought leftovers home for the next day. Everybody but me--I ate everything on my plate.
Prices: we were being treated, but prices looked good. Many university students there, so I assume it was fair. Food was top quality. Service was friendly, helpful, speedy. I felt like we were in a forest summer house for slow and leisurely evening. (P.S. They have a liquor license.)
I didn't think anyplace could equal our family favorite, Little Saigon in Upper Darby, but this has a whole different feel--like summertime eating outdoors, with screens. We'll go back soon.
The 2 places are different, equally wonderful. Little Saigon is mom and pop, everything cooked to order, a small, quiet well lighted place Vietname Cafe is serene yet bustling,
2 large dining rooms with all the large doors and windows wide open, lots of people yet plenty of space between tables and good soundproofing, so it still felt quiet. Two winners.
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